EconSouth (First Quarter 2000)

Southeastern Manufacturing Survey

Below are highlights from the monthly survey of Southeastern manufacturers conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in February.

•Current indicators of manufacturing activity in the region declined in January from relatively strong levels in the fourth quarter of 1999, suggesting that manufacturing took a brief post-Y2K pause.

•The current production index dropped to 7.9 from 27.9 in December. Most of the other current activity indicators declined more moderately.

•Several of the outlook indexes turned up sharply from December, an indication that many manufacturers believed the softness was temporary. The outlook index for production jumped to 35.2 from 24.1 in December. The outlook indexes for shipments, new orders and the average workweek also surged. The capital expenditures outlook index rose notably after being somewhat volatile in recent months, perhaps reflecting manufacturers’ optimism after a relatively uneventful century date change.

•The current prices received index plunged sharply and was negative after a strong November and December — another apparent Y2K effect. The current prices paid index was also down but remained at a moderately strong level, reflecting greater price pressure on commodities. The outlook indexes for prices received and for prices paid rebounded significantly to their highest levels since the first half of 1995.

(through January 2000)

Manufacturing Survey charts

For more complete, monthly information see the Southeastern Manufacturing Survey index.

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